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Bush optimistic about the US economy; 2.7% growth in 2008

Tuesday, February 12th 2008 - 20:00 UTC
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President George Bush said the fundamentals of the U.S. economy are strong, but admitted the country is going through a period of economic uncertainty. However Bush underlined that the 152 billion US dollars stimulus package he will sign into law Wednesday will provide a much needed boost.

"I'm looking forward to signing it," he said. "It's going to help deal with the uncertainties in this economy" said Mr. Bush as he signed off his annual economic report to Congress. "This report indicates that our economy is structurally sound for the long term, and that we're dealing with uncertainties in the short term," he said. In the report, the president calls on Congress to take further action to strengthen the economy. He urges lawmakers to make the tax cuts enacted in his first term permanent, and to do more to help struggling homeowners. The document, which was put together by the president's team of economic advisers, predicts modest economic growth this year - 2.7% - and a slightly higher three percent growth rate next year. These are more optimistic figures than those put forward by private sector economists. And hanging over all this, is the fear among consumers that the U.S. economy could be headed for a recession. Edward Lazear - the president's chief economic adviser - said the stimulus package, combined with aggressive action on interest rates by the U.S. central bank, will be enough to keep the economy from a sustained downturn. "We believe that the stimulus package that was voted on last week will be quite effective in ensuring against these downside risks," he said. "And we think they will keep the economy from slipping into lower levels of growth". Lazear also pointed to increased U.S. exports as a big economic plus. "Net exports shifted from reducing GDP growth to being a significant contributor in 2007" he said. "In large part this resulted from growth in the economies of our trading partners, from our own productivity growth and from changes in the terms of trade".

Categories: Economy, United States.

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